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  • Nicole Sherwin

Film Review: Footloose 2011

Updated: Sep 4, 2020

It's totally loose.

Source: them0vieblog

After his mum dies, big city kid and former gymnast, Ren McCormick moves to the most cooked town in the US to live with his aunt and uncle in, Beaumont, Texas. Dancing is against the law if you’re under 18, you have to be home by 10 pm and you better not play that darn music too loud. Because dancing is a sin and church is life. If Texas is the bible belt, Beaumont is the buckle.

You will definitely not be surprised to know that Beaumont is based on an actual town in Texas with no separation between Church and state.

Just gonna pretend. you were in this babe. Source: GIPHY

I don’t know the actor who plays Ren, because he was the third choice. Zac Efron and Chase Crawford were both attached to the project before dropping out. So watching this movie is a bit like when you’re out for dinner and they’re out of steak and they’re out of parmas so you have to have your third choice which is like some dry overcooked salmon with packet vegetables. And it’s okay, but you know you should be eating something better.

Same person right? Source: The New Yorker &

Ren looks exactly like young Mikhail Baryshnikov. For those uncultured fans who don’t know Russian ballerinas – that’s Carrie’s Russian boyfriend from Sex and the City.

Ren starts at the local high school and immediately spots the hottest girl in town, Ariel (aka Julianne Hough), who I have never seen in a movie not wearing short denim shorts. Her daddy is the town preacher and she’s going through her slut phase. I’m owning that term and there’s really no other way to describe it. You know when you’re in Year 9 and you rebel against your parents and have real loose morals? She’s dating a dirt-track driver ‘Chuck’ who looks like a walking a STD and all-round piece of shit guy.

Source: Covering Media

It’s Friday night, so like proper Texas teens, they're hanging out at the local diner, but it’s a dance movie so they’re having a dance meet, a very illegal dance meet. The style of choice, krumping. If you’ve seen Bring It On 3 with Hayden Pannetierre, which I assume you have because it’s elite, it’s that. If you’ve haven’t, the best way to describe it is a very energetic body spasm. It’s the dancing equivalent of poetry slam. And they dance like that to express their raw emotion, the oppression they’re feeling. The only one not dancing like that is Ariel, who is grinding all up on Ren trying to make her boyfriend Chuck jealous.

Ariel’s dad heads down to the diner to give Ariel some money for a burger and fries, only to find her dancing all up on Ren like he’s a paid guest at Spearmint Rhino. He blames Ren for this terrible influence on his daughter and the dance meet is over. When they get home, Ariel storms upstairs to her bedroom and slams the door. She’s so embarrassed by her daddy.

The next day, Ariel tells Ren to meet Chuck at the dirt track at 2pm. Is it a good old Texas dual? A dance-off? A krumping dance-off? No, Chuck wants to race school buses against Ren around the dirt track. They race, Ren’s bus catches on fire, the break downs work, but somehow he wins. Chuck is filthy and Ren is sick of this town.

He just raced a school bus against a complete dead beat and could have definitely died, and now he has to appear in court for playing the music in his car too loud. He dances it out. In the male equivalent of the most iconic flash dance scene, he combines his gymnastics and newfound krumping skills to freestyle at his work, which is not a steel mill but a cotton mill.

'My bootscootin' baby is driving me crazy' Source: Voices of America

But it’s not enough, he takes Ariel and his best friend Will (aka Miles Teller) to the big smoke to go boot-scooting, or, the rednecks' wet dream. And honestly, this dance scene is the best yet. And it’s line dancing.

On the way home, Ariel opens up and explains that the reason the laws are so tight is that three years ago, her brother Bobby was driving some Seniors home after a night of debaucherous drinking and partying when they crashed into a semi-trailer and all five of them died. After that, daddy preacher enacted laws (because no separation between church and state) that prevented sin from entering children of Beaumont.

Ariel comes home late that night and Daddy preacher decides she is out of control. Coming home past the legal curfew, slamming doors. Daddy preacher (Dennis Quaid) decides to have a chat with Ren’s uncle because he thinks Ren is responsible for her downward spiral. Um how does he not know about Chuck? He hangs round the teenagers like a bad smell and is like 15 years older than them. He’s not subtle. Daddy preacher tells Ren’s uncle he doesn’t want Ren around his daughter because he’s a bad influence – you know he’s been in trouble with the law for playing that loud music. Ren’s uncle is like Mmm to be honest, I’d say I don’t want Ren hanging round with your daughter because she’s a bad influence on him. Laid it.

Ren’s uncle obvi tells Ren about the conversation and Ren is like are you kidding me? That’s enough. He decides to petition the town council to overturn the rules around dancing. Ariel decides the rebellious behaviour is sexy AF, even hotter than an unwashed NASCAR driver and she breaks up with Chuck. Naturally, he takes it like true wife-beater and hits her. As he’s driving away she smashes his car, which really makes him angry, so he gets out and punches her in the eye. Good guy.

True Love. Source: Geeks of Doom

Ariel gets consoled by her Momma in the church when Preacher Daddy walks in and accuses Ren of punching her. She gets mad and tells her daddy she’s not a virgin. Then he hits her. Uhhh, I get dating Chuck. It’s a daddy issue thing.

It’s the day of the town meeting and the whole town comes to watch. Ren stands up and starts to plead his case for making dancing legal, but Preacher Daddy shuts him down for talking smack because of course, he’s on the town council. But then, Ren pulls out the bible and starts quoting passages. Now he’s speaking their language, but it doesn’t work. They vote against his motion. Dancing remains illegal.

Ren’s boss at the cotton mill is like, Uh this mill is technically outside town, so you could have a dance here if you like. Which surely he knew the whole time, so I’m not sure why he couldn’t have said something any time in the last two months..maybe he just needed some entertainment in his life, after all, he does live in a small town with a permanent curfew and an entertainment ban.

Ren is like, that’s good, but the pastor still runs this shit. So he goes to the pastor for a d&m. They bond and the next Sunday at church, Preacher Daddy asks the congregation to pray for all the teenagers at the dance aka giving them his blessing to go ahead.

Best Dressed Ever Source: Fashion Dresses

It’s the night of the dance and Ariel looks stunning hun. She’s dressed for this 2011 dance like you’d dressed for your 2003 high school formal. Fresh tiger stripes in the hair, a side fringe, with a half updo, the front a nice big quiff, with curls, not beach waves. Her dress and clutch have both been supplied by Supre’s formal wear line.

The dance is a hit until Chuck and his dirty gang show up. You knew he was gonna get revenge on Ren for beating him in the bus race and then stealin' his girl. They try to fight dirty with crowbars and one guy almost hits Ren in the head with a rock, which would have made this a very different movie. But then Ren’s boss comes out and lays it and they drive off.

I wish I watched the OG. Source: GIPHY

They go back inside and they all dance to Footloose. All of a sudden, the whole town are actually MAD DANCERS! When did they have lessons? Flips, break-dancing, ballroom dancing, ballet. There's no krumping because they’re no longer oppressed. Everyone’s happy again. The end.

I just can’t get past the fact I could have been watching the love of my life Zac in this movie… 6/10.

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